March 6, 2016
Jesus “watched” to see who was putting money into the Temple offering box. His observation is notable. He not only sees the amount of the gift, but He sees the heart of the giver. The rich that gave out of their “abundance” would be most impressive to others, but the widow who gave out of her “poverty,” most impressed Jesus. For she gave all that she had. Jesus still watches our giving. He is still looking for one that would entrust all that they have to Him.
March 4, 2016
What is a “parable?” The word parable is from the root word “paraballo” or in the Greek “parabole.” This compound word comes from “para” which means “to come along side or compare” and “ballo” which literally means “to throw.” So, a “parable” is a simple story that stands “alongside” another story and “throws” towards, or points towards, a deeper meaning.
To whom was this parable directed? The chief priests, scribes and elders who had come questioning His authority.
What was this parable’s meaning? The “vineyard” pointed to Israel and the “winepress,” to the temple. The “tenants” were those chief priests, scribes and elders that the owner had left in charge. The “servants” who the owner sent were the prophets. And of course, the son of the owner, that the tenants killed, was Jesus. With this parable, Jesus was actually answering their earlier question concerning by what authority he acted. He was telling them that He was the Son of God and predicting that they would reject and kill Him. And that because of this rejection they would suffer God’s judgment.
He answered them with a parable. But they didn’t understand.
March 5, 2015
This was a devastating critique of the Sadducees’ theology by Jesus. They affirmed only the books of Moses and denied the resurrection of the dead. Jesus declared them wrong on both. There are many today who claim to be teachers and theologians that Jesus would stand against because they dismiss the Bible and deny the resurrection. Do you know and believe the Bible? Do you look forward to the resurrection? What would Jesus think of your theology?
March 4, 2015
Even Christ’s enemies “marveled at Him” when He answered their question about paying taxes. Jesus displayed amazing wisdom with such brevity and fulness (“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”). He wasted not a single word, yet fully responded to their complex question. Reading the gospels, one cannot help but realize the otherworldliness of Jesus. Both His humanity and divinity are on full display. There is no other like Jesus. Whether one believes or rejects Him, no one who encounters the Christ of the gospels can help but “marvel at Him.”
March 5, 2013
This was a devastating critique of the Sadducees’ theology by Jesus. They affirmed only the Torah and denied the resurrection of the dead. Jesus declared them wrong on both. There are many today who claim to be teachers and theologians that Jesus would stand against because they dismiss the Bible and deny the resurrection. Do you believe the Bible? Do you believe in the resurrection? What does Jesus think of your theology?
March 5, 2013
This was Jesus’ response to the question concerning what is the greatest commandment. His answer to love God and love others summarizes the 10 Commandments. For if we love God, we will keep the first 4 commandments. And if we love our neighbor, we will keep the last 6. The problem is that we cannot love God and our neighbor with all our being. We are conflicted and selfish at heart. We are sinners. Yet, to those who receive Jesus, the love of God is poured out. Jesus gives us His love for God and others. When we abide in Christ, we have the kind of whole love that follows God’s commands, not as rule-keepers, but from the heart.